The Cold War Standard 5-5 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the social, economic and political events that influenced the United States during the Cold War era. Indicator



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The Cold War
Standard 5-5 - The student will demonstrate an understanding of the social, economic and political events that influenced the United States during the Cold War era.
Indicator:

5-5.1 Explain the causes and the course of the Cold War between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States, including McCarthyism, the spread of communism, the Korean Conflict, Sputnik, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.
It is essential for students to know:

Students should be able to explain the course of the Cold War. A rivalry developed between the Soviet Union and the United States following World War II. The Soviet Union’s goal was to spread communism - their political and economic system in which the government owns and controls businesses and property. The goal of the United States was to contain the spread of communism, therefore, the policy of the United States throughout the Cold War period was known as the “containment policy.” The United States and other western European nations wanted to encourage democratic governments throughout the world that were based on personal freedoms and a free enterprise economic system. Communism and those who supported its ideals were increasingly feared by many Americans.



This fear was fueled by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, who announced that hundreds of communists were working in the United States government with the intent of overturning the government. This Red Scare came to be called McCarthyism. The McCarthy era is known for the fear and sensationalism promoted by Senator McCarthy and the mass media. No secret agents were ever uncovered by McCarthy’s accusations and investigations.
In 1950, the Korean Conflict started when North Korea’s communist government invaded South Korea with the intention of reuniting the peninsula under one communist government. South Korea did not want to become a communist nation. As a result, the United States, with the support of the United Nations, responded by sending American soldiers to defend South Korea and contain the spread of communism. The war ended in a stalemate and the peninsula remained divided. South Korea remained a democratic nation. North Korea remained a communist nation allied with the Soviet Union.
The Berlin Wall was built by the Soviets to separate the communist and democratic portions of Berlin, which had been divided between the allies at the end of World War II. People who lived in East Berlin were forbidden to cross to the western side of the wall. The Berlin Wall became a symbol of the differences between the Soviet Union and the western democracies. It was finally torn down in 1989, signifying the collapse of the communist control of Eastern Europe and an end of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Competition between the Soviet Union and the United States continued into a quest to reach outer space. The space race was started when the Soviet Union successfully launched an unmanned satellite, Sputnik. This event highlighted the need for an excellent education system and was a unifying force for American industry. It also promoted the development of computer technologies that would affect other segments of American life. President Kennedy established the goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Although the Soviet Union was first to put a man into outer space, the United States was first to put a man (Neil Armstrong) on the moon.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War rivalry came close to nuclear war as the Soviet Union began shipping nuclear missiles to Cuba, a communist country ninety miles off the coast of Florida. From this location, the Soviet Union could easily launch nuclear weapons toward targets in the United States. President Kennedy responded by setting up a naval blockade of Cuba preventing the Soviet Union from bringing weapons to the island. For several days, it appeared that the two nations would soon be at war. At the last moment, the ships carrying the nuclear missiles turned back. Most historians agree that this was the closest the United States and the Soviet Union ever came to war. As a result, efforts were made to avoid such crises in the future including the installation of the hot line and the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The Vietnam War shares many similarities with the Korean Conflict. In both places, the United States was trying to contain the spread of communism. As in Korea, the Soviet Union supported the communist government of the North and the United States supported the democratic government of the South. However, unlike in Korea, the war in Vietnam started because the government of South Vietnam refused to comply with a peace agreement that had been signed calling for elections to reunite the country. The government of South Vietnam feared that they would lose the election because the leader of North Vietnam was very popular. Fighting continued for many years and ended in United States withdrawal rather than a stalemate. The United States faced a difficult challenge fighting in a jungle-like environment. Public sentiment began to grow against Americans fighting in Vietnam because the war was widely covered on television. After several rounds of peace talks, a cease-fire agreement was signed and American soldiers evacuated Vietnam. South Vietnam continued to fight the communists but soon surrendered and united with North Vietnam as a communist nation.


Indicator:

5-5.2 Summarize the social, cultural, and economic developments that took place in the United States during the Cold War, including consumerism, mass media, the growth of suburbs, expanding educational opportunities, new technologies, the expanding job market and service industries, and changing opportunities for women in the workforce.
It is essential for students to know:

The impact of cultural developments in the United States following World War II was the result of returning prosperity and returning soldiers. This indicator requires that students understand the effects of postwar economic prosperity. When the war ended, many women returned home from the work they had been doing for the war effort and became homemakers and consumers. American factories were able to switch production back to consumer goods. War time workers had money to spend and products that had not been available during the war, such as automobiles, were in high demand. The resulting post-war prosperity allowed many people to spend money on new American products. Soldiers returning from the war married and started families and bought new homes. A trend in home building, the development of suburbs, was made possible by even greater availability of the automobile and is most often associated with the 1950s. The trend of moving to outlying city neighborhoods began in the late nineteenth century due to the availability of trolleys and continued in the 1920s with the automobile. Large tracts of land, located on the outskirts of town, were bought by developers. The land was then divided into hundreds of plots on which new houses were built. Americans began to leave the cities in which they worked to buy new homes in these new suburban developments and commute to work. A new highway system to link major metropolitan cities increased suburbanization.


Mass media, the widespread availability of radios, movies, and the new medium of television, helped to spread popular culture or pop culture, to urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the United States. Radio spread new Rock and Roll music. Television became the center of American family entertainment. Advertisers used the new medium to spread their message and soon everyone wanted the same goods including, Slinkies, cap guns, coonskin hats, Barbie dolls, and Hoola Hoops.
Due to an increase in jobs and production necessary to sustain the war effort, the economy of the United States experienced a boost, lifting the nation out of the Great Depression. The United States experienced an economic boom following the conclusion of World War II. Americans devoted much of their financial priorities to the war effort. Industries that had focused their efforts on war materials shifted to the production of consumer products. As a result of the increase in wartime jobs, Americans had savings with which to purchase new products, such as automobiles, televisions, and radios, which had not been available during the war. Advertising encouraged people to buy and an increasing consumerism dominated American culture. As consumers had more money to spend, service industries such as dry cleaners and restaurants expanded. The automobile and new highway system gave rise to motels and fast food restaurants. More consumer credit was available in the form of credit cards.
New technologies created new products, improved existing ones, and enticed consumers to buy new and improved products. Changes to the automobile such as automatic transmissions, radial tires, and power steering made them safer and easier to drive. Jet engines and pressurized cabins changed the airline industry by providing faster, more efficient air travel. Improved telephone service including long distance, and new televisions changed communication, strengthening national and international connections. Technologies, such as air conditioning, became more widely available, making the South a more attractive place to live and establish industries.
Indicator:

5-5.4 Explain the international political alliances that impacted the United States in the latter part of the twentieth century, including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
It is essential for students to know:

Political alliances and policies impacted the United States during the latter part of the twentieth century. As a result of World War II, many nations wanted to avoid war in the future. Representatives from fifty nations met to establish a new organization called the United Nations. The purpose of the United Nations was to find peaceful solutions to international issues. The United Nations provides a forum for debating world issues and a means for policing local conflicts while encouraging standards of humanitarian behavior. The United Nations includes a General Assembly and the Security Council. Permanent members of the Security Council were the allies of World War II.


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance that was originally established in response to the growing threat of the Soviet Union following World War II. The original members included Western European nations, the United States and Canada but membership has grown to twenty-six nations including Eastern European nations formerly part of the Soviet bloc. Each member of NATO agreed to defend each other should the Soviet Union attack. In most cases, the United States seeks the support of NATO and/or the United Nations before becoming directly involved in international conflicts.
As a nation, the United States relies on a large amount of oil. The United States must import much of this oil from other countries. OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was organized by the nations of the world who produce petroleum products. This organization plays a major role in determining the rate of petroleum production as well as the price of their products. The United States must work together with OPEC to ensure that Americans receive the petroleum products necessary to sustain our level of usage. The energy crisis of the 1970s was evidence of the necessary cooperation between these entities.

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